Washing and drying clothes can take a fair amount of energy, but with the latest models, it’s possible to keep costs down and do your bit for the environment. We’ll explain everything here – from efficiency ratings and heat pump technology, to energy saving tips.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY RATINGS
So, how do you go about choosing an energy efficient washer dryer?
One of the best places to start is with the energy efficiency rating. Nearly all household appliances have one, and washer dryers are no different. ‘A’ is awarded to those with the highest, and ‘G’ ratings are for those with the lowest efficiency.
Will the best energy rating get you the most efficient appliance?
Not necessarily. The rating is calculated using a variety of factors, including size. This means an A-rated washer dryer may use more energy than a smaller, B-rated model. As such, it’s important to buy a machine with the right drum capacity.
Fortunately, washer dryer energy labels display average energy consumption as well as efficiency ratings. This makes it easier to compare one model with another.
Washer dryer energy labels display average energy consumption as well as efficiency ratings.
NOT JUST ENERGY EFFICIENCY
With a washer dryer, you need to be aware of more than just the energy consumption. They usually use water during drying, as well as in the washing process.
Water consumption is also a number given on the energy label, along with the washing performance (rated A-G), spin speed, drum capacities for washing and drying, and noise levels in decibels.
With a washer dryer, you need to be aware of more than just the energy consumption.
HEAT PUMP WASHER DRYERS
Although these are less common as things stand, heat pump washer dryers are the most efficient models.
Simply put, they reuse the hot air used in the drying process rather than releasing it into the atmosphere.
EFFICIENT LAUNDRY TIPS
Investing in an efficient washer dryer is a great idea, but there’s lots you can do to help out your pockets and carbon footprint too.
Washing clothes in cooler water is a brilliant way of reducing energy consumption. Most washer dryers will let you alter the temperature setting on wash programmes, so try a lower one. Normally, you only need higher temperatures for getting rid of stubborn stains and marks, or cleaning baby clothes, bedding, and towels hygienically.
Increasing the spin speed will extract more water from your clothes and reduce drying time. Additionally, using high efficiency, low-suds detergent in the wash will save on rinsing. You could also try drying similar items together, like towels or sheets.
On warmer days you could let your laundry air dry, rather than using your washer dryer. As drying cycles use the most energy, cutting them out occasionally makes quite a difference.
Or, why not set your machine to wash while you sleep? Electricity can be cheaper at night-time, and many washer dryers have a timer you can use to set your cycle in advance.
Moisture sensors can also be useful for saving energy. These detect the level of moisture in your clothes, and then shut off the cycle when they’re dry.